SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE (AGAIN!)

Published by: Aonghus Fallon on 20th Mar 2017 | View all blogs by Aonghus Fallon

I've been watching developments re the issue of Scottish independence with avid interest. As everybody knows the history of Scotland and Ireland under British rule was very similar for a long period, only for the two countries to then take wildly divergent paths. For us, a defiance of British rule, a failed revolution, a second successful revolution a few years later, a pretty unpleasant civil war (albeit with a comparatively low body-count) followed by independence. Sure we made plenty of mistakes (you want some advice? Don't put bankers or priests up on pedestals: they generally don't deserve to be up there) but we are an independent nation and proud of it.

Occasionally we cast our eyes across the channel to see how our Celtic cousins, specifically our Caledonian cousins, are getting on, and secretly wonder what's the story with those guys. Even prior to independence, the Irish had a long history of resistance to British rule. The Scots much less so. Geography was a big factor. Also my brother argues that our 'aristocracy' were mostly transplanted British citizens and Protestant, thus there was a fundamental disconnect between the rulers and the ruled, whereas in Scotland, the lairds basically colluded with perfidious albion to shaft their own. But you have to wonder if the fundamental canniness of the Scots worked against them - that they weighed up independence vs being part of the commonwealth and decided that it was more lucrative serving the Crown (no pun intended). The number of Scottish personalities (Arthur Conan Doyle, John Buchan and John Junor amongst other) eager and proud to accept knighthoods is particularly telling, and I'm reminded of Dr Johnson's quip that the bonniest sight a Scotsman ever saw was the High Road leading him to London.

But now independence is once more in the air. Will they go through with it? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Comments

62 Comments

  • AlanP
    by AlanP 3 days ago
    We shall, and it's interesting that the arguments opposing Scottish independence are precisely the opposite of those legitimising the "British" EU referendum. But above all, it is probably worth noting that a principal mover behind the Scottish decision to join the union was approaching national bankruptcy following unwise overseas investments in the new colonies that simply went tits up.

    That said, I would move to Scotland in a heartbeat if they found a way to remain European.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 3 days ago
    'We shall, and it's interesting that the arguments opposing Scottish independence are precisely the opposite of those legitimising the "British" EU referendum.'

    Very true, Alan. My (english) girlfriend pointed out this particular irony to me - that the same people who were so supportive of Brexit and British independence were equally bewildered by how Scotland might want the same thing. I didn't know that about failed investments abroad - maybe not quite as canny as I thought!
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 3 days ago
    Again, if it was a choice between bankruptcy and staying out of the union, I'm not sure Ireland would have made the same choice - had it been able to do so.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 3 days ago
    It was a long time ago. To do with fishing in northern waters and an attempt to establish a colony in Nova Scotia, I think. I can dig out the history if you like. Later though.
  • OFP
    by OFP 3 days ago
    I too, hailed from a country which declared an independence from Great Britain. It was won by cowards and c'''''ts but it was made by men of vision. Always the way. Mandela was a crap terrorist but a brilliant and visionary leader.

    It is rare that you seen the skills required in a leader to create an independent state, violently or otherwise, lending themselves to great governance in the aftermath.

    The less enlightened world entertains us with the likes of Alliende, Mugabe, Bokasa, Pavasi, Noriega, Marcos and countless other revolutionary 'Leaders'.

    Later, almost 100 years after independence from Britain, and in dichotomy, my country denied the same independence to an ironically numbered thirteen states who saw their future outside of the Union and a quarter of the citizens of that state died during the war that followed.

    I can see the ironies of both sides of this issue. Both the Scottish and EU issues have been decided by democratic means. To tamper with that is to invite rebellion. I've seen enough of those.

    Tough times. But I still have faith in the democratic process here which has seemingly resolved these issues except for a few malcontents and self serving politicians like Sturgeon and Blair, looking for personal validation and not understanding the actual will of their electorate.
  • OFP
    by OFP 3 days ago
    edited to remove inappropriate language....
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 3 days ago
    I suspect that the anger and the protests stem from the fact that most politicians feel compelled to lie. In the last hundred years or so I personally can think of only two honest ones. Aneirin Bevan and Nelson Mandella. One founded the NHS , the other prevented a bloodbath
    I wish we had someone of their integrity in the game these days.
  • RichardB
    by RichardB 3 days ago
    Point of order. If by 'Alliende' you mean Salvador Allende, one-time president of Chile, I have to point out that he didn't come to power by a revolution but by a democratic election, as far as I know still the only Marxist ever to do so. The revolution came when he was overthrown by Margaret Thatcher's bosom buddy Augusto Pinochet, thus ending 40 years of democracy and ushering in 20 years of dictatorship, torture and murder.
  • OFP
    by OFP 3 days ago
    I think the anger is misplaced.
    I can understand disappointment, dismay even, but to label 15 million people as racists and idiots is lunacy.
  • OFP
    by OFP 3 days ago
    I stand corrected RB, it was his refusal to cede to his Congress that was his 'revolution' not his election.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 3 days ago
    Oh hell. America is angry and it's hard to present Trump as presently healing divisions. He seems to be a man with lots of targets left. He's just taken a pop at us! I wouldn't suggest the 47% of American voters are racists or racist neophites either. But their man is. Similarly in WW2, that scrap that so many seem to refer to, it is naive to suggest that 60M Germans were murdering anti Semites - but their leaders were. And here in this benighted land we have UKIP, who are racists and the Tory leadership is probably not exactly racist, but is certainly stupid. I mean who would make Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary if they weren't barking mad?
  • OFP
    by OFP 3 days ago
    The trump thing is an anomaly of a displaced electorate. Trump is unlikely to serve his entire term and will be the most ineffectual prez in history as is the nature of checks and balances.

    But the vote, the protest vote, is the same sentiment which started with a market stall owner burning himself to death in Tunisia and sparking a global phenomenon labeled Arab Spring, and then mutating across the Med. It is a rejection of Status Quo.

    The personalities which prevail or fail are inconsequential. Trump, Merkel, Farage, Qadaffi, Mubarak, are all just flotsam. It is the sentiment behind it all which is the real amazing circumstance.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 3 days ago
    I don't disagree. It's just that the protest always seems to turn out to be an opportinity for a bigger bunch of assholes. I would punch Farage's lights out though, given the chance.
  • OFP
    by OFP 3 days ago
    I lack the interest. I am 226 days from dropping tools and can't really spare any concerns for great issues like the protesting class manage.

    I did once see a guy in London while I was stuck in traffic on the Embankment in my van. He was part of a huge march and had a sign, 'Workers of the World, UNITE' and I doubted if he could lift my 36 stillies let alone know what to do with them.

    I nodded to a cop, and said 'waddya think of that guy? Bet he never worked in his life.'

    The cop said, 'I love him. I'm on double pay with time in lieu'...

    I saw his point but it took me 5 hours to get home.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 3 days ago
    But we've discussed this. When you retire you're going to need a hobby.
  • OFP
    by OFP 2 days ago
    A hobby.

    Don't laugh at this.... It is my ambition to write comedy.

    This could include political slogans, I suppose....

    I intend to start on the day I retire.

    I intend to finish my two longer projects, Brotherhood of the Lost and The Black Horse Alumni, and self publish them after taking the SE course again and storming the FoW.

    I also intend to collate my shorts into anthologies... The White Van Chronicles, Rugby Shorts, The Rucksack Chronicles and of course, Tales From Mudflat-on-Ditch...

    ... and then, after a light lunch, contemplate the second day of my retirement...

    meanwhile, Scotland will remain Scotland.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    You're right, we've hijacked the blog. Sorry, Aonghus. Scotland will be Scotland, although in a McCoy sense it may be not quite as we know it. Time will tell.
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 days ago
    No apologies necessary, Alan. You guys shooting the breeze always makes for interesting reading.
  • Daedalus
    by Daedalus 2 days ago
    The whole business of independence intrigues me. I would like Scotland to do what's best for Scotland, I'm just not sure what that is. And moreover, I'm not sure that what's best for Scotland's soul will be best for Scotland's body. Forgive me for 'Britsplaining,' I don't mean to tell anyone their own history, but will just rehearse the historical arguments as I understand them, if nothing else to try and clarify in my own mind.

    I admit it bothers me that much of the rhetoric seems to paint the history of Scotland's relationship with England as closer to that of Ireland - the Braveheart/Outlander ahistorical BS of a victim of English Imperialist oppression, when the Scots joined the Union as, in some respects, senior partners, and Scots participated enthusiastically and often violently in the shaping British Empire. The traditional historical struggle as I understand it was in reality between lowland Scots and highland Scots.

    I also feel that the Irish resistance to British rule is, if not overplayed exactly, then sometimes presented slightly out of context. And this is the nation's story, of course (my other half is Irish btw). Though there were periodical protests and uprisings, there were long periods when people just got on with it. Ireland of the 19th century was not a country under foreign occupation. Which is not to say that there weren't voices calling for independence or home rule (there were plenty of voices, mainly in the North, vociferously against it) but as with Scotland in 2011, it was something of a minority view. The rising of 1916 did not have widespread public support, but it was what happened immediately afterwards that really stoked the fires. People who had not been particularly interested in nationalism were horrified at how England had turned on them. And when the referendum campaign got going, and the awful Better Together campaign revealed the British establishment's patronising and paternalistic attitude to Scotland, it seemed to me as though increasing numbers of people started to think they no longer wanted to be part of a Union that thought so little of them. It strikes me that what Scotland wanted was a vision of its future that its people could get behind, not to be told they'd be sorry if they rocked the boat. Not that the referendum campaign and the Rising were in any way the same, but they seem to have, in completely different ways, caused their respective countries to think very differently about themselves.
  • mike
    by mike 2 days ago
    These national barriers can be somewhat artificial and it can make no difference what sort of line is drawn. I had attended an opera performance last Friday and got there early. Before me sat a tour party and I heard some familiar accents. One of the party turned round and apologised for his height and offered to move, I laughed and replied in my appaling Dutch. I was almost right. My mother came from the South of Holland and what Dutch I know is Flemish, The party came from Northern Belgium. We discussed this and he said there was more difference than I thought, but there is no physical barrier separating the two countries,
    I did study this sort of thing, but I have forgotten most of it. The majority of Irish writers left Ireland and I wonder if Irish writers will stay put now? The poets seems to have done so. I suspect the same might occur with Scottish writers? I am sure Ian Rankin still lives in Scotland. What you have ib Scotland is the largest area of undeveloped land in Northern Europe and iI hope it stays that way
    The Scottish writer I examined in some detail had been Robert Louis Stevenson and, although he retained a Scottish identity, he had been known, in his own lifetime, as a great English prose writer (But it was the period he spent in Samoa that interested me.)
    One of the successful plays in London, at the moment originated, I think, at the Edinburgh festival. This is the Glass Managerie,
    Trump presents a big problem for comic writers in that he has made them redundant. I broadsheet caught this ambivalence when it referred to him as a 'Totalitarian Dunce' He is both comic and horrific.
    I am reading Willi Cather at the moment and recently watched ;Heaven's Gate' which I found in a charity shop, both of which portray a different America. The words' we are all emmigrants' occurs in Heaven's Gate., and the protagonists in Willi Cather are Swedish, German and Russian.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    There's a play I saw in which some young Irish kids are angry at "The English" and their father says, "It's not the English, it's their ruling classes". An Irish republican thing. I think that has a point for Scotland too. They don't want away from the English, they want away from the ruling classes, the Conservatives. Or that's how I see it, anyway.

    It seems to me that Scotland has always been outward looking, particularly to France and Italy, but there are many Americans (including The Donald, but he is atypical) who proudly carry Scottish heritage.

    As the English drive to leave the EU gathers pace a lot of proponents are saying it will forge better ties with Europe, which is paradoxical nonsense. The same English ruling classes still think we have a place in the world and their idea is to be strong and dominating. We then establish ties as a kind of benevolent act from a superior. I suppose that might be where this strange idea of resurrecting the commonwealth trade has come from.

    Scotland has never really been strong and dominating. They have always looked to alliances for strength and paradoxically I think that is what may drive them away. By leaving the EU they may conclude, emotionally if not factually, that their instinct to reach out to the world is being taken away. Paradoxically, because they don't want to be independent they will choose to become independent. At least that's a theory.

    The fact is that, as has happened before (remember the poll tax), a tory government has treated them with disrespect, as though they are not relevant. It has created an opportunity, and the SNP exist for one reason - independence. Of course they'll have a go.
  • RichardB
    by RichardB 2 days ago
    Prop, I'm not laughing. You DO write comedy. Brilliantly.
  • Daedalus
    by Daedalus 2 days ago
    I saw a meme on social media a few days ago which read 'everyone is a little Irish on St Patrick's Day. Apart from the Scots. The Scots are always Scottish,' and there's truth in it, I think. It's just that until relatively recently there has been no contradiction between being Scottish and being British. Interesting point that Scotland's historical alliances have been with e.g. France - I wonder if there's a 'folk memory' of that? If the current Westminster government wants to drive Scotland back into the arms of the French, it's going the right way about it.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    Alec Salmond is trying to resurrect that memory. He's dropping it into interviews a lot.
  • Raine
    by Raine 2 days ago
    To be fair to Sturgeon (I'm not a complete fan, btw), she *is* standing up for her electorate. We voted to remain within the UK largely because that was the more certain route to remaining in Europe. We voted to Remain in the EU ref. By fighting to not be part of BRexit, she's doing exactly what the majority of Scots have voted for, twice.

    Whether the risks of independence and applying to teh EU will outweigh the risks of Brexit in our collective minds ... I'm not so sure at the moment.

    Personally, I'm incredulous that Parliament, which has ignored the voice of the Scottish people, has the right to veto our right to hold another referendum. It's like asking the bully for permission to decide whether we want to be bullied or not. I'm all for annexing ourselves and then invading Northumberland. Hell, we'll invade Bristol and London and all the other Remain cities too, if you like.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 days ago
    Raine, I have a spare bedroom if you need it on your annexation rout :)
  • OFP
    by OFP 2 days ago
    I like Raine's idea of the Jocks taking on Bristol. Tell them to bring their lunch as it may take a while. If I were a Scottish resident, I would seek annexation by Norway. They have a 900billion sovereign wealth fund. That would but all the crack in Glasgow and leave change for a fried mars bar.

    Sturgeon is a self obsessed opportunist. Give her the vote after a uk general election wipes out the SNP majority and gives it to a Scottish Lib Dem party.

    She' end up on big brother next to George Galloway.
  • Daedalus
    by Daedalus 2 days ago
    I'm not a fan of Sturgeon either, but she's seizing her moment and making the UK PM look like an out-of-retirement supply teacher who can't control the class. Annexation by Norway sounds good though, where do we sign up?
  • Mashie Niblick
    by Mashie Niblick 2 days ago
    OFP The Norwegians don't have a word for 'dour'. I can see a happiness conflict with that one.

    Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Cornish etc pride is more romantic and innocent than English pride for some reason - echoes of empire maybe, or perhaps the English are more of a mongrel race.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    Probably wise to walk on eggshells. We have managed to remain remarkably calm on Brexit in recent times. I've redecorated the room where I burst a blood vessel over it. There is no point attacking Sturgeon. She is a politician and of course has her own agenda, is self obsessed, disingenuous and a manipulator. Rather like Mrs May. In Sturgeon's favour she isn't posing for Vogue magazine like some aging Hollywood B list has been in soft focus, or extending her legs provocatively across a sofa in tight leather trousers. What is that all about?

    Sturgeon is doing what her country has democratically voted for and it's as defensible as leaving the EU. Scotland never gave up its nationhood in the same way that Wales has. Separate legal system is just one firm example of separateness. The have a parliament, us English don't. "We" can't assert our right to leave a Union and simultaneously deny Scotland's right to do the same. She has a 67% EU stay mandate, May has a 51.7% EU leave mandate. If Scotland was out of it she would have a higher %, but Scotland isn't out of it, that's their point. It's essentially an English and Welsh decision. They aren't changing their mind. So, they have the right and they have that right now because now is when it was measured. If Sturgeon is wrong, she'll lose. If she isn't then they'll leave and Falmouth will be ruined by having nuclear subs parked there.

    On that subject, down in Cornwall there is a small but growing discontent over "The English" too. In the pub I have heard mumbles about independence. They may have voted out of the EU, but I think they realise that when powers return they will be held by a Tory ruling class in the South East who don't care about them, rather like Scotland. They have stuck up two fingers to the establishment and it felt good at the time, but the result is a worse establishment than before, and it's irritating them.

    Celtic regions rebel against Norman rule? Maybe it's about time they had a go.
  • Mashie Niblick
    by Mashie Niblick 2 days ago
    I'm half Scots, and I'd like to move there if they get independence. But Mrs Niblick would prefer a beachside shack in Antigua. These politicians are tearing us apart.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 days ago
    Norway happy? Don't they have the highest suicide rate?
  • Aonghus Fallon
    by Aonghus Fallon 2 days ago
    Re Irish nationalism: I think this was always class-based. It still is. In relation to 1916, it's worth keeping in mind that this was the middle of the first world war, when deserters were shot (in 'Goodbye to All That', one officer complains about how he often had to shoot one of his soldiers just to make the others go over the top) and I think this puts the executions in a very different context. Cynics might also say that the subsequent War of Independence was a land-grab (ie, Ascendency families being chased out of their homes so that local farmers could get their holdings).
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 2 days ago
    Your last point, Aonghus - that's just what happened in Zimbabwe.
    And during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
    And forever.
    Each led to a new and unimaginable swerve in direction. Good or bad; depends on your perpsective.
  • RichardB
    by RichardB 2 days ago
    Celtic rebellion? My favourite pub round here flies Owain Glyndwr's flag on a pole beside the road, where no one can miss it...
  • Daedalus
    by Daedalus 2 days ago
    The other thing that's sometimes underplayed about the 1916 rebels was that they enlisted German support. It was literally treason. It's hard to see a situation where a UK government would have realised that the best thing to do would be to calm things down, show Ireland why they might be better off as part of the UK and make concessions, promise home rule.

    @Whisks, Norway is top of the 2017 'Happiness Index' apparently.
  • OFP
    by OFP 2 days ago
    Future daughter-in-law and expecting mother of my next grandchild is from Norway. And although I can't pronounce her name, she is who I would pick as earth's ambassador to heaven. Don't know about suicide in Norway but they live in Singapore after son lost his job in Aberdeen.
  • RichardB
    by RichardB 2 days ago
    I thought it was the Swedes who had the high suicide rate.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    The last Welsh Prince of Wales? That was an early example of political spin if I have it right, Henry IV dun him in, then declared that the new Prince of Wales would be born there, forcing his wife (Queen Joan of Navarre?) to lump her heavily pregnant self into Wales for the purpose.

    Except it ain't true. Owain escaped being dun in and Prince Hal wasn't really born in Wales, or so the current history runs :)
  • Mashie Niblick
    by Mashie Niblick 2 days ago
    Cadwhisks - "Norway is the happiest place on Earth, according to a United Nations agency report - toppling neighbour Denmark from the number one position." Except Breivik, who has conflicted happiness issues.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    @ Prop, I recommend you practice your pronunciation. These things are important.

    @ Mashie. That's what I thought. In general they enjoy a steady prosperity partly due to their sovereign wealth fund, which may see them through the choppy waters. The last Norwegian invasion of these islands must have been Harald Hardrada, 1066 and all that.
  • RichardB
    by RichardB 2 days ago
    The causes of Glyndwr's rebellion were actually quite complicated, involving a dispute over the ownership of some land and the other landowner bad-mouthing him at court, but it's true that he never got dun in. He was offered a pardon if he gave himself up, but (probably wisely) declined to do so, going into hiding instead. No one knows exactly when or where he died, which is part of his legend.
  • Raine
    by Raine 2 days ago
    Folk memory of our old ties with the continent? The Auld Alliance is still very much a perceived reality. It's all a bit bonkers really, but we've people who still refer to themselves as Jacobites!

    I saw that meme too, Daeds, it made me laugh.

    Richard, my dad had (probably has, I dunno) an Owain Glyndwr flag on his guitar case!

    During the first Scottish ref, I got annoyed by the attitude that we should go for independence because of history - I want the decision to be for the best *future*, not some rose-tinted (or blood-soaked, perhaps) past. But is it possible to completely separate where we are from how we got here?

    Just to throw something totally different out there, I think so much of the current political/humanitarian upheaval is rooted in climate change - causing increased competition for declining resources, increased conflict, migration etc. Our instinct as a species in times of limited resources is to become more tribal. By identifying ourselves as an 'us' we can better fight to protect 'our' resources. I think the huge challenge facing us at the moment is whether to be led by our instincts, and follow the path of greater and greater division and conflict, or whether to resist that and be led by the believe in cooperation, in diversity increasing our chances of survival (whether by simple genetic resilience, or by increased chances of ingenuity/invention).

    The UK chose the tribal route. Scotland would prefer the cooperative route (but would have to vote tribally to get there...). I'm proud to be Scottish right now. Although I'm also a host of other nationalities and my parents may yet get kicked out of the country.
  • Daedalus
    by Daedalus 2 days ago
    History vs future is one of those eternal debates. The problem with the former is that peoples tend to invent or at least colour their history to suit the present. It's like postcolonialism, and I was reminded of this with the death, yesterday - RIP - of Derek Walcott, one of my favourite poets. While other postcolonialists like Ben Okri sought to rewind history to the African 'year zero,' turning their backs on the memory of slavery and colonisation, Walcott took the view of looking at where those peoples were now and finding the beauty in it, regardless of how they got there. 'We make too much of that long groan of history,' Walcott said in his Nobel acceptance speech The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory. 'The sigh of history rises over ruins, not landscapes.' And 'Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.' I hope one day we can reassemble the fragments.

    PS that speech is here, it's worth a read http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1992/walcott-lecture.html
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    Scottish independence would seem to me with my limited knowledge to be a potential disaster for the Scots. The current funding formula has it that public spending is £1000 per head higher there than in England. This would reverse if independence were to come about. Also, with North Sea oil revenues disappearing down the proverbial plug hole, an even bigger economic black hole would develop. Also, and this doesn't seem to get a mention anywhere, would not Scotland have to contribute billions to the EU if it were to become a member? I wonder how these circles would be squared? Is not the 'Wee Krankie' potentially leading her people down the garden path to the uncultivated ground beyond the shed of doom?
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    Up towards the top of the thread I mentioned how Scotland lost a shed load of money in the late seventeenth cenntury, leading to the act of union. I did a bit of checking, I was right a bit and wrong a bit. The speculation was called the Darien Scheme. It was aimed at Panama (not Nova Scotia as I speculated) and was funded by public subscription. About 25% of the wealth of Scotland went into it. They lost the lot. There are several online articles - but the consensus is interesting:

    - That financial loss almost certainly caused the act of union of 1707.

    - The expedition could possibly have succeeded, were it not for a lack of English support (from Jamaica) and Spanish aggression, (South America was their patch), that effectively destroyed it.

    - The country was so bitter about it that a few sailors who were in no way to blame were hanged on a pretext. It seems someone had to pay.

    I find it ironic that these causes of Scotland losing its independence are the countries most strongly opposed to Scottish Independence today - namely England (for such is the Westminster government) and Spain, because they don't like the precedent of Scotland seceding and then joining the EU.
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    If that does turn out to be the case and Scotland is left hanging, independent and not in the EU, I imagine the disaster would be complete.
  • Raine
    by Raine 2 days ago
    Daeds, I love Walcott's poetry too, may he be at peace now. Hopefully on a boat on a calm sea. Yes, he took a forward-looking view of his people and his home, which I found inspiring.

    Stevie, yes the oil industry is not something to pin any economy on, least of all in Scotland. But we are increasing our renewables industry exponentially, so we'd be unlikely to go without tea and heating, if nothing else! And I don't actually know how much we'd have to pay into the EU, probably close to whatever Ireland pays at the moment. But we'd also get most of that back, or possibly more than we paid in, in academic investments, rural poverty schemes, deprived area grants, tech/innovation/conservation investments etc etc. Someone mentioned Cornwall - it got more out of the EU than it (proportionally) paid in. I have no idea what the balance would be, but the money paid in would not be vanishing into a black hole.

    But yes, this would all be contingent on us getting membership. And that's a big unknown. Regardless of how SNP try to smooth over that minor issue.

    Alan - ah yes, the Darian project - I remember now. ALthough as an ecologist I'm kind of grateful it failed as the Darian rainforest is a very special place. And Spain - ha! Yeah, they've reasons enough to want to squash such radical behaviour!
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    Thanks for that, Rainy - a bit more information is very helpful. I can't help thinking that this kind of thing would be useful to the debate. Isn't it funny how politicians often stress the emotional rather than the practical? And most people, when it gets down to it, are more interested in how it will affect them personally.
  • mike
    by mike 2 days ago
    I had wished to research a biography of a great, great grandfather who was born in Wales, I really got no further than 'Is there anything more than buggeral in Laugherne.' But I had done a lot of background reading. He had been journalist and from the earlier generatior, but one of the major Early Victorian journals was Chamber's Edinburgh Journal sold for one penny. I seem to recall it developed ideas started Charles Knight and introduced popular ideas into an educational format. But I am doing this from memory and cannot quite recall. But, in my opinion, these journals began in France and were called 'Fueuilletons. Even though England is an island, 'culture' was pretty international in the Regency period and FRance, not England was at the centre - well into the nineteenth century
    Three fiction projects I started last year all dealt with multi-racialism and I was using sources from all over the world to make my points. These have been abandoned now as Brexit would not allow it but what has happened is mob rule. I was right, Now quite a few columnists now make the same point.
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    Wouldn't it be funny... if this great UK of ours became split into seperate entities - different countries in effect? One can't help but wonder how the whole thing would work, hang together. Would there be border controls; would we need to show our passports when travelling into Cornwall, Wales or Scotland? (If they were part of the EU) We are entering a time of potential seismic change and who can confidently predict where that will take us?
  • bazbaron
    by bazbaron 2 days ago
    Interlude: there's a picture doing the rounds on tinternet... Scotlands new currency = a five Krankie note. :-))))))
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    Interesting, Baz. But five what? How would that equate to sterling? Would five Krankies be worth five pounds - or would it be five euros? Or, for that matter, would it be four bars of Tablet and a pint of Heavy?
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 2 days ago
    I was Cornwall. You can't travel far without seeing an EU project flag somewhere. Big mistake.
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    You were Cornwall, Alan? Have you suffered from belly expansion?
  • bazbaron
    by bazbaron 2 days ago
    @ it's her own project, Stevie, have you never noticed the resemblance between her and the smaller of the Krankies partnership? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Krankies
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    Indeed I have, Baz. But since I cannot on any level stand the woman, ( and here I am not being misogynistic - she could be a man for all I care) I have not delved too deeply ino her motivations.
  • OFP
    by OFP 2 days ago
    Good Blog.

    A touchy and emotive topic addressed with reason and humour.


    ...so far.

    I will be gutted if Scotland bail out, even though I think our economy in the lower places would be better off if they did.

    As for the EU, I think it will expire in five years and be replaced by something much less federal in time.
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    You may well be right, Prop. But it will be seismic in its death-throes...
  • Mashie Niblick
    by Mashie Niblick 2 days ago
    OFP I agree the EU will self-implode - that appears to be its trajectory, and the pesky Ruskies will continue to borderise westward and southward, with perhaps the nod or blind eye from trump. A loss of stagnation in Europe means a loss of stability. interesting times...
  • Stephen Mark
    by Stephen Mark 2 days ago
    Good points well made, Mashers.
  • Snowflake
    by Snowflake 1 day ago
    https://pics.me.me/rust-button-for-short-speech-by-nicola-sturgeon-help-protect-10154977.png
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.